It usually starts about the time I get my formula container out of the diaper bag – my lovely, very mom-like Vera Bradley diaper bag, might I add. My handy-dandy formula container comes with us everywhere, just in case we have a crisis and need to eat while out in public or we are going to be out and about for longer than three hours. You know how it is with a baby; you live in three- to four-hour increments.
Back to the problem at hand, the problem that usually presents itself once the container has come out of the bag. What I am talking about is the Look. The Look is something every mother has gotten from another mother at some point in her mommy career. Whether it’s from your kid pushing their kid, your kid saying something totally inappropriate (that never happens to us, haha) or because you are (Gasp!) feeding your baby formula.
Yes, believe it folks: There are mothers out there who look down on us bottle feeders. Sometimes it’s just a look, and sometimes it’s an all-out conversation on feedings with someone I have never met before. It’s really quite ridiculous. I don’t stare at mothers who breastfeed, even when they pull out the “feeding device” right there in a public place with no cover. I don’t come up to you and ask you why you decided to breastfeed, so why do I get all of the looks and questions?
Many women assume that I have at least tried breastfeeding; that’s the feeling I get when the discussion usually begins. “Oh, did you have as hard of a time as I did? Well, you should just keep trying, and it gets better.” Or when, on my tour of the hospital while pregnant with little man, our group was being spoken to about breastfeeding and my hand shot in the air before I breezily asked, “What about bottle babies?” The looks were horrifying; these women hadn’t even given birth yet and had already mastered the disapproving-mom look, and I was impressed. Well, for everyone’s information out there, I never tried to breastfeed. Never even gave it a thought (Well, I did give one thought to it while pregnant with Lilian.). I was bottle-fed and so was my husband. Maybe if our mother’s had been breastfeeders I would have been more apt to do it, I don’t know; but I do know that I decided on bottle feeding and once I did I became a sitting duck for some very interesting and sometimes rude discussions.
As a group, we mothers have a tough but wonderful job, and you would think that we women would stick together, but I have found that it’s just the opposite. Have you ever noticed that women love to scare the daylights out of pregnant women with their own horror stories? I have never wrapped my mind around that one and it’s the same thing with your choice of feeding your child. Formula works just as well as breast milk, in my opinion. It nourishes your baby and helps them grow and develop. I have to say, not only are my husband and I perfect examples, but my babies are pretty spectacular themselves.
Many people opt to go the formula route, just as many decide to breastfeed, and I think it’s wonderful whatever you do; it’s amazing that we all get to be mothers. So, I say let’s not judge each other on how we feed our children; let’s just delight in the fact that there are all of these wonderful little people being brought into the world and, whether they are bottle or breastfeeding, they are very loved by their mothers.